This looks, from the outside, like a glamourous job – filled with social events and lots of fun. Being surrounded by beautiful venues and people, parties and social occasions. The reality is that although there are elements of this to the job – it is also a lot tougher than it looks. This career is perfect for those who are meticulous with detail, have tons of energy and drive to do it day after day.
What do Conference and Event Managers actually do?
Conference and Event planners work long and non-traditional hours to plan and execute all details related to a variety of meeting formats including seminars, conferences, trade shows, executive retreats, incentive programs, golf events, conventions, concerts and other events.
These kinds of events take a lot of planning. A Conference and Event Manager is the person you turn to to organise, conceptualise, plan and execute an event on behalf of others. They come up with creative concepts for décor, space and food; help to secure good prices with vendors or suppliers of furniture, flowers, music, lighting and so on; put together a workable budget for the event, co-ordinate the planning of all aspects of the function from guest invites to paying the DJ or suppliers and finally, they oversee all processes from legal to financial and just about everything in-between.
What skills are needed to be a Conference and Event Manger?
Although it does take plenty of creativity to design an event that is memorable and meaningful, it also takes careful attention to detail, adaptability, effective delegating, and a lot of work.
It takes confidence to deal with all types of people (clients and suppliers) as well as being methodical and detail-oriented will set you apart from others as a leader in this field. Whether you work for yourself (as in you have your own event planning company) or whether you work as a planner for someone else’s business, conference and event planning requires entrepreneurial skills and strong leadership qualities to ensure success.
The ability to budget, plan, manage (money, staff, processes) is key, as many planners will have to cover a number of these areas when putting an event together.
“Events involve various skills, so a good generalist who is confident to deal with people and can communicate effectively is an ideal candidate for this job. Patience and creativity are the icing on the cake.”
What qualifications are needed to be a successful conference and event manager?
A solid Hospitality Management qualification from the International Hotel School is a perfect fit for anyone wishing to pursue a career in event planning. IHS offers a number of qualification options and study styles to suit those interested in studying event planning. You can choose from full-time study, traineeship and online study – there’s something for everyone. However, you might be unsure if this business is for you.
The IHS Online course: Conference and Events Management – An Introduction is perfect if you are trying to decide if this business is for you. This self-paced course will walk you through the process of event management, from the beginning stages of planning, to the final touches (like decorations, food, and music). While this course is specifically for corporate event planning, the elements here can also be applied to more personal event planning.
What does the programme cover?
- Event planning essentials
- Budgeting basics and managing contracts
- Using the committee approach
- With partners and sponsors
- and marketing
- Selecting the venue
- Feeding the masses and business etiquette
- Selecting speakers and a master of ceremonies
- Adding the finishing touches
- Event day roles
- Closing the event and gathering feedback
If you would like to know more of if you have any questions, click on the link on the course page.